Northern Ireland

Driver admits causing girl's death in Tyrone bus crash

Nicola Murray
Image caption Nicola Murray, who was a twin, died in the crash

A man accused of causing the death of a teenage girl when his lorry hit a school bus in County Tyrone changed his plea to guilty on the opening day of his trial.

Damien McGivern, 46, of Ardmore Park, Newry, is accused of causing the death of Nicola Murray, 16, in the crash near Cabragh in February 2008.

Mr McGivern also admitted causing serious injury to two other girls.

A judge told Omagh Court on Wednesday it would not have been an easy case.

He discharged them, saying it was fortunate that they would not have to decide on it.

The court was told that this was an unusual case in which a member of the victim's family had written letters to the accused, expressing empathy if not sympathy.

Sentencing is due to take place in July.

Nicola - who had a twin sister, Natasha - was a pupil at St Ciaran's High School in Ballygawley.

The crash happened as the school bus turned into St Mary's Primary School in Cabragh at about 0830 GMT on Wednesday 27 February 2008.

Natasha held her sister as people tried to save her life following the crash.

She said her sister's friend, who was trained in first aid, tried to resuscitate her.

Speaking shortly after the crash, Nicola's father, Jim, said they felt for the lorry driver.

"He didn't get up that morning to cause death, Paula (Nicola's mother) and I feel for him in what he must be going through," he said.

After the collision, Transport Minister Conor Murphy met police to discuss putting fixed speed cameras on the road.

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